Tracy Lee Curtis

Airing our dirty laundry over detergent mix-up

I love these individual detergent packs they make for the washing machine and dishwasher. Pre-measured, easy to use, just throw them in and they dissolve and clean your dishes or laundry.

Just don’t get them mixed up. They look alike. And it gets really confusing when you’re on a big family beach trip and the tiny packs are no longer in the giant bucket they came in, but in unmarked plastic baggies.

Oops, too late. My mom has already handed each of my twin sisters a plastic baggie. And no surprise, Twin 1 has already used dishwashing detergent to wash her clothes.

And this Twin’s got a track record. She notoriously washed all our clothes using cat litter a few years back. She said the plastic jug sitting on the washing machine looked just like laundry powder. I asked her if it had a big picture of a cat on the front it …

“That’s irrelevant,” she hissed. No … it’s actually your first clue – that, and the line that boasts a “clump and seal” feature. Which I have to say was accurate advertising, as our clothes came out sealed into a nice concrete ball. Destroyed all odors too.

Meanwhile, over at the dishwasher, Twin 2 has run the dishes using laundry detergent. And when she opens it, she’s struck by the spring meadow scent, commenting, “these dishes smell like fresh laundry – if my dishes at home smelled like this, I’d do dishes all the time.”

Amazingly, that doesn’t tip us off. It’s when she comments that the frying pan has a hint of crisp florals that we start to catch on. And all the dishes look remarkably brighter.

I ask Twin 1 how the laundry came out:

“Shiny. No spots.”

Thankfully, dishwashing detergent really does remove the tough stains. Although I would argue that the laundry detergent did a better job on the dish with lasagna in it, than the dishwashing detergent did on the shirt with the same sauce.

I would suggest using a stain remover, but I don’t trust what’s what around here. I’m looking at a light green gel in an unmarked bottle – I don’t know if it’s shampoo or hand sanitizer and I’m not about to find out.

Plus, I took a sip of what I thought was iced tea, but turned out to be a Dark ’n’ Stormy – a wicked concoction of black rum and ginger beer. It made for quite a shock to the system. But a very relaxing day at the beach.

And that was only Day 1. Day 2 my dad comes out wearing a bright cerulean blue shirt. And mom says, “that shirt makes you look like a tall drink of water.” No doubt in a sparkling-clean glass.

Guess it’s true what they say … it all comes out in the wash.

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